Cotton and pigment, plain weave
Overall: 66 x 20.9 x 3.8 cm (26 x 8 1/4 x 1 1/2 in.)
The Norweb Collection 1940.516
Paracas mummy masks are cloth panels used as the faces or heads of human burial bundles.
This mummy bundle was likely found on mummy bundles made of a seated human body carefully wrapped in textiles. In some instances, the Paracas people placed a painted cloth like these at the top of the bundle. The cloth was padded on the back so it curved outward like a face, and the tress-like yarns (unwoven warps) at the upper edge were arranged around a solid cotton disk that, in turn, was wrapped with a headband (see photo). The cloths, then, seem to have functioned as the bundle’s face or mask.
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